kate-middleton-45We think it’s safe to assume Kate Middleton had a pretty good year.  She gave birth to her first child, the beautiful baby George, who also happens to be a direct royal heir to the British crown.  And she was back to her beautiful shape in mere weeks.  Today is her 32nd birthday, so to celebrate the pretty princess, we’re featuring the lovely outfit she wore to Prince George’s christening this past year.  Middleton sported a cream-colored, ruffled two-piece suit by her favorite designer, Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen (who outfitted her during another historic moment you may remember in 2011…)  Kate’s sister, Pippa, and her mother-in-law, Camilla, also donned ivory to match the baby’s baptism gown.  Kate’s accessories revealed she’s loyal to other labels, too: her shoes were her trusty L.K. Bennett nude Sledge pumps, and her pale silk fascinator is by another favorite of the Duchess, Jane Taylor, who revealed the gorgeous hat is available for sale (for a whopping £755!)  The beret’s name?  “Georgie,” of course.  Happy Birthday Kate!kate-middleton-46

2013 Kentucky Derby Rundown

The Kentucky Derby always reminds us that spring is here, and summer isn’t far behind… Yesterday, this editor was perfecting her mint julep while working a Derby Day party, in honor of the historical horse race.  Like all things southern, the mint julep is both traditional and designed to combat the sweltering heat of Kentucky.  (And there is nothing this editor loves more than bourbon straight from the good ole’ south.)  While we crowned Luke and Caroline Bryan the Best Dressed couple of the May 4th race, here were are a few of our other favored looks.  Krysten Ritter (pictured, top left) was sporting our favorite frock designed by Dolce & Gabbana: soft yellow silk, trimmed with white lace and adorned with pastel blossoms in bloom.  Although we didn’t like her shoes, the dress paired with a wide-brim cream and sky blue Christine A. Moore hat, and Ritter’s serious but sultry stare, brought to mind Maggie of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.  The official colors of Kentucky Derby 139 were blue and yellow, so Ritter especially did a good job incorporating the hues into a classic southern look.  Our other favorite head-to-toe look was Miss America winner Mallory Hagan (pictured, bottom left), who looks like she stepped straight out of Dynasty in her sophisticated dress complemented by her black and yellow topper.  Supermodel Coco Rocha was nearly perfect in a Zac Posen lavender suit, and a stunning orchid chapeau by Philip Treacy, if it weren’t for that horrible purple lipstick!  But our favorite hats of the day were two unnamed guests: the black, white and magenta beauty (pictured, top right), and a white and Tiffany blue topper decorated with peacock feathers (pictured, above right).  Who cares about the the horses when you have all these stylish beauties prancing the grounds?


Having gone to college in the south, this editor likes to romanticize southern traditions and style from every now and again, and the Kentucky Derby is one of those times… Every year images of wraparound porches, Spanish moss, southern belles, and sweeping plantations fill my head with fond memories of living below the Mason-Dixon Line.  Here is our choice for the best-dressed pair at this year’s May 4th Kentucky Derby races.  Country singer Luke Bryan sported a j. Lindberg suit of clean white and baby blue, a plaid pocket square, sharp tan shoes, and a white Stetson fedora.  Wife Caroline Boyer Bryan was his classic complement in a floral Roland Mouret dress and a beautiful chapeau by HeadCandi with a teal ribbon, purple flowers and magenta feathers that brought out the colors in her shift.  They were sophisticated and southern, without making a mockery of themselves, like so many other stars did by trying to stand out…

7 Beauty Lessons Learned from Downton Abbey

Check out our favorite Downton Abbey beauty tips from our friends at Daily Glow: The Crawleys may have old-fashioned manners, but their skin and hair are modern marvels. Here are the best beauty tips from the third season of the Masterpiece broadcast on PBS.

1. Your complexion always looks better in candlelight.

2. For an instant anti-aging trick, stand next to someone who’s at least 30 years your senior.

3. Don’t underestimate the power of a red lip.

4. If you’re going without makeup, make sure your skin is flawless.

5. When in doubt, wear a hat.

6. You’ll never have a bad hair day if you stick to braids and updos.

7. A blushing bride is a beautiful bride… as long as she’s not left at the altar.  (Sorry, Edith!)


The Quiet Man may be the most noticeable movie in America about Ireland, and is always a St. Patrick’s Day favorite.  John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara star in the 1952 film about an American boxer, Sean Thornton, that falls for a surly, sharp-tongued spinster named Mary Kate Danaher (love it!)  Here, O’Hara is wearing a black-belted green floral dress, adorned with white buttons and a lace-trimmed collar.  Without the wide collar, this would actually look pretty modern otherwise, and the material makes O’Hara’s emerald eyes pop (pictured, below).  She tops it off with a wide-brimmed straw hat, which looks gorgeous against her red locks.  According to IMDb, the national color of Ireland (green) is shown in nearly every shot of the film, but it only appears on one costume in the entire movie – this one.  Which makes sense, since it’s the first instance in the film when Mary Kate and Sean kiss!  Apparently bad weather and bickering is what gets the Irish going!  Erin Go Bragh! <3


The Irish love to laugh, and it seems our humor is pretty dark, because only a Gaelic comedy could be named Widows’ Peak.  In the 1994 film, marriage, money, death and chastity come into play in this story of some sour and sweet single ladies.  The late Natasha Richardson plays the beautiful Edwina Broome, a mysterious woman that moves into an Irish neighborhood during the 1920s.  Here, she’s riding with her new friend, Mrs. Doyle-Counihan (Joan Plowright) in a stunning cream dress, layers of long pearls, delicate white gloves, and a classic 1920s hat adorned with a flower.  The costume designer of this film was Consolata Boyle, who got the period clothing from Angels and Berman, Costumi d’Arte and the European Costume Company.


We had a little trouble coming up with an Irish gown for “Fancy Friday,” and then remembered the 1992 film Far and Away!  Former spouses Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise star in the Ron Howard movie about Irish immigrants coming to America during the late 1800s, to stake their claim in American soil.  Kidman plays Shannon Christie, a wealthy girl who grows dissatisfied with her parents’ traditional views, and leaves for the US with Cruise’s character, Joseph Donnelly.  Shannon is accustomed to a cushier lifestyle than Joseph, so she emigrates across the ocean more dressed-up than her male companion.  She’s wearing a royal blue gown with a velvet top, leather gloves and purse, and a couple of fancy hats.  Shannon soon learns that rich clothing isn’t going to get her anywhere in this new land… Life is much tougher without money.  But she and Joseph decide to take part in a race across the wide plains of the Oklahoma Territory, in which the victors win part of the vast land!  Costume designer Joanna Johnston, who just celebrated her first Academy Award nomination for Lincoln, outfitted the film.  Fun Fact: Three of director Ron Howard’s great-grandparents actually rode in the Great Land Run of 1893!


For this Valentine’s Day post, we’re featuring our favorite outfit from the British romantic comedy, Four Weddings and a Funeral.  Hugh Grant and a group of friends experience life in death in this clever 1994 film by Mike Newell.  Grant’s character falls for a fashionable American girl named Carrie, played by Andie MacDowell.  She makes her grand appearance at one of the weddings featured in the film, donning a cream-colored suit, a dark camisole and the perfect accessory for attending British nuptials – one hell of a big black hat!  She certainly makes an impression, because Grant ends up completely falling for the raven-haired beauty.  The costumes were created by Lindy Hemming, who did an excellent job capturing the look of the mid-1990s in England.  We hope you find love like these two this Valentine’s Day! <3


At least you two have decent manners. The pair last year ate everything with their hands like a couple of savages. It completely upset my digestion.”  In The Hunger Games, Katniss and Peeta’s publicist Effie Trinket (played by Elizabeth Banks) has elaborate outfits and outrageous powdered wigs that bring to mind a modern-day Marie Antoinette.   Costume designer Judianna Makovsky and Banks actually worked together before on the 2003 set of Seabiscuit.  (Fun Fact: The actress’s wedding to husband Max Handelman was actually inspired by the 1930s-era of the film.  This editor remembers seeing her stunning photos in In Style when I was in high school.)  Despite all of Effie’s costumes being made specifically for the actress’s body, Banks told People, “They were all torture.”  Yet, this poofy-sleeved teal dress embellished with an enormous flower pin happened to be her favorite, because, “it was the most comfortable.”  We love the miniature black hat, and ridiculous manicure, which apparently took 45 minutes everyday to complete!  While the word “trinket” means a tiny, cheap ornament (like Effie’s whole wardrobe), “Effie” is short for Euphemia, which means “well-spoken.”  But, it is also happens to be the the name of a martyr, who refused to take part in her government’s ritual sacrifices, and as a result, was forced into an arena and tortured to death.  Hmm… Is that a hint where Miss Trinket’s true allegiance stands underneath that seemingly shallow persona of hers?


Happy Hunger Games!  And may the odds be ever in your favor!”  Who else would we feature on “Pink Wednesday” during our tribute (pun intended) to The Hunger Games, but Effie Trinket?!  Played by the wonderful and underrated Elizabeth Banks, Effie comes to the Reaping wearing a completely over-the-top magenta skirted suit, black stiletto open-toe booties, and her famous pink hair adorned with a flower hat to match her other ridiculous accessories.  While this is a darker shade of the purplish pink color, costume designer Judianna Makovsky told Vogue how she was heavily influenced by Elsa Schiaparelli, “The woman was a genius. I have to admit, I used a lot of color.  Schiaparelli pink,” when creating the clothes for Capitol citizens. “We looked a lot at Italian fascist architecture that is very imposing.”  Makovsky’s sly marriage of political themes and high-end fashion is present throughout the film.  I must admit, before reading the book, catching a glimpse of Banks dressed as Effie in the movie trailer completely terrified me when she reads off the name, “Primrose Everdeen” to the crowd of District 12.  Standing beside Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, Effie shows the sharp contrast between the lives of the citizens of Panem.  While these two women may dress, think, act and live as total opposites, it turns out both of them are much stronger than anyone expected…